Charcuterie at Le Sardine

 

Salade Lyonnaise at Le Sardine

French restaurants in Chicago—the crème de la crème

Fresh cheeses and meats, fish bathed in butter and sprinkled with herbs, and soft, fluffy pastries—French gastronomy is the stuff of legend, so it’s no surprise that French bistros, cafes, and brasseries are pretty easy to come by in Chicago. Locating one that lives up to the legend, however, is a different story. To help out, we’ve rounded up a few of Chicago’s best French spots that deserve a “oui oui!”

La Creperie
If you're going to be eating great French food, it’s goes without saying that you’ll be pairing it with great wine. To help you out with this crucial task, all bottles of wine are 50 percent off on Tuesdays at La Creperie in Lincoln Park. Go ahead, have your ratatouille crepe and drink your wine, too.

Cochon Volant
This newcomer for all things French on West Monroe Street is serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner—all the more opportunities to say “bonjour” to Parisian cuisine. Try the Cochon Benedict Reserve for breakfast, one of the many fine French dip sandwiches for lunch, and for dinner, don’t miss out on classic steak au poivre.

Bistrot Margot
The only thing that can make a classic French bistro even better is if it has a quaint patio overlooking a beautiful Chicago street—and Bistrot Margot has it. Enjoy your steak frites while taking in the action out on Wells Street in Old Town.

La Fournette Bakery & Cafe
Sometimes—let’s say on a cool Chicago morning—all you want is to enjoy a hot croissant with a café au lait. La Fournette can help you out on both fronts. This cozy yet bright café has an excellent selection of Parisian breads and pastries, and also offers simple, traditional options like quiche Lorraine and croque-monsieur, piled with ham and cheese.

Mon Ami Gabi
Lettuce Entertain You does just about every genre of food extremely well, so breaking into French cuisine seemed like a no-brainer for the restaurant group, as they opened Mon Ami Gabi in Lincoln Park years ago. Get table out on their twinkling, breathtaking patio to take in views of the park while sipping on a glass of French wine.

Cafe Des Architectes
It can be tough to find affordable eats in the Gold Coast, so to come across a delicious yet reasonably priced French meal near Rush Street seems like a miracle. At Café Des Architectes, the easy-on-your-wallet brunch includes fresh-squeezed juice, brioche French toast, and mixed berry crepes with hazelnut ganache—enough to keep you full and satisfied all day.

La Sardine
If you've been to sister restaurant, La Bouchon, you won't want to miss the West Loop variation, La Sardine. When you visit the restaurant Monday through Friday, you can enjoy a prix-fixe lunch for just $30. Choose from classic French options like salade Lyonnaise, moules frites, and a range of charcuterie.


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